New Testing Methodology

Every twelve to eighteen months it makes sense to upgrade our test beds in order to best represent what is available on the market. How the upgrade occurs depends on what is being tested, and in the case of our APU reviews it is clear that due to the wide range of graphics options available, as well as at different price points, that we have to adjust our gaming testing.

For 2015 our CPU performance testing regime remains untouched aside from the late 2014 addition of Linux-Bench for a glimpse into Linux based performance. On the gaming side, our games have been updated to the following:

  • Alien Isolation (First Person Survival-Horror)
  • Total War: Attila (Strategy)
  • Grand Theft Auto V (Open World Sandbox)
  • GRID: Autosport (Driving)
  • Middle-Earth: Shadows of Mordor (Action-Adventure)

Because budgets for gaming graphics cards can vary, or users decide to keep the same card for several generations, we will be testing each of these titles in both low, medium and high end graphics setups. This means we can see where the bottlenecks are for CPU performance at each stage. We have also been able to source both AMD and NVIDIA cards for most of these areas, should one side of the equation scale more than the other.

The GPU sections are split into three based on where they fit in their independent stacks rather than for direct competition:

 - Integrated Graphics
 - ASUS R7 240 2GB DDR3 ($70)
 - Dual Graphics (where applicable)

 - MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB ($245-$255 on eBay/Amazon, $330 new)
 - MSI R9 285 Gaming 2GB ($240)

 - ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560)
 - MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

On the low end, we have selected settings in order to make the current best integrated graphics solutions score between 45 and 60 frames per second. On the mid-range and high-end, we typically pull out 1080p maximum settings or almost-maximum.

The Shadows of Mordor (SoM) benchmark throws up a little interesting teaser as well due to the use of its Dynamic Super Resolution technique. This allows us to render at 3840x2160 (Ultra-HD, or ‘4K’) with our settings despite using a 1080p monitor. As a result, we also test SoM at 4K ultra with our mid-range and high-end graphics setups.

For the high-end setups, as we have managed to source 2 cards of each, means that where applicable we can test both SLI and Crossfire setups. We apply this to Shadows of Mordor at 4K as an extra data point.

For clarity, this means:

R7 240 2GB
Dual Graphics
GTX 770 2GB
R9 285 2GB
GTX 980 4GB
R9 290X 4GB
Alien Isolation 720p Ultra 1080p Ultra 1080p Ultra
Average Frame Rate Average Frame Rate Average Frame Rate
Total War: Attila 720p Performance 1080p Quality 1080p Quality
Average Frame Rate Average Frame Rate Average Frame Rate
Grand Theft Auto V 720p Low 1080p Very High 1080p Very High
Average Frame Rate
%FPS <60 FPS
Average Frame Rate
%FPS <60 FPS
Average Frame Rate
%FPS <60 FPS
GRID: Autosport 1080p Medium 1080p Ultra 1080p Ultra
Average Frame Rate
Minimum Frame Rate
Average Frame Rate
Minimum Frame Rate
Average Frame Rate
Minimum Frame Rate
Shadows of Mordor
720p Low
1080p Ultra
4K Ultra
1080p Ultra
4K Ultra
Average Frame Rate
Minimum Frame Rate
Average Frame Rate
Minimum Frame Rate
Average Frame Rate
Minimum Frame Rate

For drivers, we locked down the 350.12 WHQL versions from NVIDIA soon after the launch of GTA V. Similarly, the 15.4 Beta drivers from AMD are also being used. These will remain consistent over the next 12-18 months until the next update.

All of our old (and new) benchmark data, both for CPU and graphics performance, can be found in our benchmark database, Bench.

We have a variety of benchmarks here, including legacy benchmarks such as CineBench 11.5 and TrueCrypt, which are not published in the main review. All CPUs/APUs that have been tested in our new 2015 style will be labeled in the dropdown menus by having its launch price listed, e.g. ’AMD A10-7850K (95W, $173)’. With any luck over the course of the next six months we will be adding new data and re-testing older processors for the database in order for our readers to compare old with new.

AMD A8-7650K Review AMD A8-7650K Test Setup, Overclocking
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • nikaldro - Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - link

    And you still haven't got what he meant
  • yannigr2 - Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - link

    Tell me about it.
  • nikaldro - Thursday, May 14, 2015 - link

    Not sure if trolling,but anyway.
    They said "no comments" to express great disppointment.
    As in " nothing to say about the poor performance. the numbers speak for themselves".
  • nikaldro - Thursday, May 14, 2015 - link

    They said "no comments" as in "I have nothing to say about the poor performance of this APU. The number's speak for themselves."
    It had nothing to do with the actual number of comments.
  • nikaldro - Thursday, May 14, 2015 - link

    *numbers, not number's. Damn autocorrect
  • krabboss - Saturday, May 23, 2015 - link

    No, not really. They would have said "no comment" if that was the case, instead of "no comments."

    They're saying that AMD is in a sorry state these days because nobody is bothering to comment on a review of their new APU. They probably didn't realise the article had just been published, though.
  • redraider89 - Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - link

    Stupid comments. That states Sejong's comments.
  • YuLeven - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Only outplays Intel's offerings when it comes to the somewhat irrelevant onboard gaming market. Usually barely matches the Core i3 performance sucking thrice the power. Not really impressed by this piece of silicon.
  • nightbringer57 - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    May be irrelevant to you.
    May not be as irrelevant to many.
    Where the performances of the core i3 may shine much brighter on paper, this may not be the case of the typical daily use of the typical daily computer for facebook, youtube, netflix, and some gaming on a tight budget.
  • takeship - Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - link

    Could we get a benchmark or two from the broadwell nuc line included? Comparing a released today Amd against Intel's year+ old igp's is a little disappointing.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now